Time salvager, by Wesley Chu

Time salvager Book Cover Time salvager
Wesley Chu
Science fiction
Angry Robot
July 9 2015

I started waiting for Wesley Chu's Time Salvager before I'd even finished the first part of the Tao trilogy. Because this author writes action-packed stuff that is genuinely fun, even for someone not usually very action-inclined.  Really! And Time salvager lives up to that expectation, definitely.

We enter in the future - only to find out that no, wait, the present is actually the far future. Because at this point, there are people who can jump around the timeline and poke at things.  There are laws, of course, governing how exactly one is allowed to poke at things,  and mostly it's about salvaging energy sources, because the far future is a bleak dystopia in which a lot of good technology has been lost.   It came to this despite humanity's glory and triumph in the, to the reader, near(ish) future.  Stuff happened, ships sailed.  James is one of the time-jumpers, a chron-man, who's hard at work to avoid any feelings of affection for the past he visits - making an exeption for their whisky.

They just don't make booze like that anymore.

As it turns out, James has a few more exceptions to make and rules to break, turning into a wonderfully page-turning ride.

But... the ending comes a bit too abruptly, for me.  There's an obvious (well, I say obvious, it must be, right?) promise of a sequel, which is good, but I feel like the cliffhanger is a big bursting sack of questions I wanted to answer now,  which is - bad?  Yeah, bad.  I can get with series and trilogies or whatever this particular thing turns out to be, but Time salvager isn't quite as neatly self-contained as I would wish it to be.   Once you've left me hanging like that, I immediately wrinkle my nose at how the whole book was just kind of skittering along the surface of the filthy, filthy water, never taking real, deep dive to look hard at the gunk down there.

I'm the reader who wants to study the gunk down there, you know?   There are perfectly good reasons not to take the time for a dip down there, of course - but I think my dissatisfaction is valid.

It doesn't mean I wouldn't recommend the book, because I absolutely would, and will.  You'll stay clear of it if you hate time travel, especially time travel not encased in hard science,  but you'll have a good time if that's not you.

Now give me a companion piece or prequel or sequel or something, I need more of it. ASAP!

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